Pentagon ground tests fighter-jet launched hypersonic weapon

2019/06/images-1560433136.jpeg
Read: 1006     17:56     13 June 2019    

Traveling at 5-times the speed of sound, skipping off the boundary of the upper atmosphere and descending upon enemy targets with unprecedented speed, emerging hypersonic weapons promise to massively reshape offensive combat tactics.


Recognizing this, Pentagon and industry developers are now testing a new series of hypersonic weapons prototypes as part of a large-scale effort to fast-track the weapons to service. The U.S. acceleration of the weapons, which includes air flights, ground-firing, wind-tunnels, simulation and various kinds of prototyping, is widely discussed as much needed response to Russian and Chinese progress in the area of hypersonics.

“In the last year, China has tested more hypersonic weapons than we have in a decade. We’ve got to fix that,” said Michael Griffin, the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, according to an Air Force report from February of this year.

Flight tests, demonstrations, ground testing and advanced air-vehicle configuration prototyping are all providing data for an Air Force, DARPA and Raytheon hypersonic weapons program called Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapons Concept, or HAWC. DARPA statements on the program, citing program manager Andrew Knoedler, identify key areas of developmental emphasis to include “hydrocarbon scramjet-powered propulsion to enable sustained hypersonic cruise.” DARPA information, mirrored by Raytheon weapons developers, explains that “sustaining” speeds at 5-times the speed of sound is a technical characteristic to hypersonic weapons...and the HAWC in particular.

“We are flying a HAWC system…ground tests have already happened. The whole point is to simulate what you would experience in flight, so you can create the correct thermal environment. You can model and measure the heat in the vehicle and you can measure the material properties,” Dr. Thomas Bussing, Vice President, Raytheon Missile Systems, told Warrior in an interview. “You can’t test range (with a ground test), but you can measure performance, lift of the vehicle and thrust, attributes from which you can infer range.”



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Pentagon ground tests fighter-jet launched hypersonic weapon

2019/06/images-1560433136.jpeg
Read: 1007     17:56     13 June 2019    

Traveling at 5-times the speed of sound, skipping off the boundary of the upper atmosphere and descending upon enemy targets with unprecedented speed, emerging hypersonic weapons promise to massively reshape offensive combat tactics.


Recognizing this, Pentagon and industry developers are now testing a new series of hypersonic weapons prototypes as part of a large-scale effort to fast-track the weapons to service. The U.S. acceleration of the weapons, which includes air flights, ground-firing, wind-tunnels, simulation and various kinds of prototyping, is widely discussed as much needed response to Russian and Chinese progress in the area of hypersonics.

“In the last year, China has tested more hypersonic weapons than we have in a decade. We’ve got to fix that,” said Michael Griffin, the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, according to an Air Force report from February of this year.

Flight tests, demonstrations, ground testing and advanced air-vehicle configuration prototyping are all providing data for an Air Force, DARPA and Raytheon hypersonic weapons program called Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapons Concept, or HAWC. DARPA statements on the program, citing program manager Andrew Knoedler, identify key areas of developmental emphasis to include “hydrocarbon scramjet-powered propulsion to enable sustained hypersonic cruise.” DARPA information, mirrored by Raytheon weapons developers, explains that “sustaining” speeds at 5-times the speed of sound is a technical characteristic to hypersonic weapons...and the HAWC in particular.

“We are flying a HAWC system…ground tests have already happened. The whole point is to simulate what you would experience in flight, so you can create the correct thermal environment. You can model and measure the heat in the vehicle and you can measure the material properties,” Dr. Thomas Bussing, Vice President, Raytheon Missile Systems, told Warrior in an interview. “You can’t test range (with a ground test), but you can measure performance, lift of the vehicle and thrust, attributes from which you can infer range.”



Tags: